Brownwood City Council members awarded a $70,564 bid to Big Country Ford Tuesday for three police cars.

The city received one other bid – for $65,021 from Bruner Motors Inc. of Stephenville. While the bid was the lower of the two, it did not include ballistic driver’s side door panels, which act as a shield against incoming projectiles, and therefore did not meet specifications.

The Big Country Ford bid is for three 2010 Crown Victoria Police Interceptors and includes a trade-in allowance of $3,500 on three used vehicles.

In other business, council members:

• Heard a presentation from Adel Hunter of City and Rural Rides (CARR). Hunter said CARR has received a grant that will provide free public transportation for six months for clients, mostly low income.

• Amended an ordinance on first reading authorizing the city manager to determine if the hours Riverside Park is open should be extended due to special events.

• Approved an ordinance ratifying stop signs and yield signs in the city.

• Ratified the action of the Civil Service Commission to establish guidelines for eligibility for the police and fire department promotion tests.

• Heard Emily Crawford, tourism and marketing manager for the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, present the marketing plan and third quarter tourism report. City hotel occupancy was down 4.8 percent in 2008, compared with a 15.5 percent reduction statewide, Crawford said. Brown County received $47.1 million in direct visitor spending, a 9 percent increase from 2007, and ranked 84th of the state’s 254 counties.

• Heard Finance Director Walter Middleton give the budgetary control report for the period ending Oct. 31. With sales tax and water revenues down, the city is putting a watch on expenses, including hiring, Middleton said. There is no hiring freeze, but about six positions are vacant, he said.

Cash balances are remaining steady, Middleton said.

• Heard City Manager Bobby Rountree give a construction update of the Senior Citizen/Recreation Center and Family Aquatics Center. The Senior Center should open in early spring at its new home in the Coliseum Annex, Rountree said.

There is not a lot of activity at the site of the aquatics center, Rountree said. He said National Guard soldiers from Camp Bowie will likely start removing trees and some of the concrete at the site of the new sports complex.